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Training Tips

Keep on running: Autumn/winter essentials


We know it’s not always easy to go out for a run in the autumn and winter months when it’s cold, wet and dark outside. But with a few key essentials, training can still be a pleasure and not chore. Here are our recommendations…

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If you can get out during daylight hours then running off road at this time of year can be a joy. The scenery is enhanced by the beautiful autumn colours and parks are quieter than in the summer. However, the wetter weather can make off road routes muddier so buy some trail shoes for extra grip. Shoes brands including Salomon, New Balance, adidas and Inov-8 do some great trail shoes. Some also come with water resistant uppers to keep your feet dry.

As the grips on trail shoes are so pronounced, they should only be worn off road and not on concrete. Running in trail shoes on the road will wear down the grips and could be painful for your feet. So if you want shoes that will work for both options, go for something like the Brooks Adrenaline ASR which has extra grip than the traditional Adrenaline but is still comfortable to wear on the road.


patch high visIf you’re running after dark than reflective, high vis clothing is a must to stay safe. There are so many options now from fluorescent T-shirts and long sleevers to reflective bibs. Meanwhile, many brands like Saucony have added reflective material to their trainers. If you don’t have, or can’t afford, high vis clothing, you could buy some Velcro reflective strips to add to your clothing or an LED armband.

If you have a sports watch with a light, you could also switch it to stay on throughout your run which will help you see your running time and help other people to spot you in the dark.

Finally, if you have to run after dark in an area with poor or no street lighting, try a lightweight running head torch to keep your path lit.


With a good waterproof jacket, you can go for a run in the rain and finish feeling warm and dry. We love the adidas Supernova Gore jackets which are lightweight, breathable and don’t let any rainwater leak in. It might mean spending more but it’s best to get a jacket containing material like Gore-tex. Some cheap waterproofs won’t repel the water but will become saturated and then just cling to your skin making you cold and damp.


snowAs the temperature drops, you’ll need some extra layers when running to stay warm. However don’t overdo it as your body temperature will increase as you run. Helly Hansen make great base layers which keep you warm but are also light and breathable – hence they are a brand popular with skiers. For a winter run, a base layer with a T-shirt, gilet or jacket over the top should be enough to keep you warm without over-heating. Keep your hands warm but not clammy with breathable running gloves and wear a running hat if it’s really chilly.

Here’s our other tips for autumn/winter running:

  • Have a goal to keep you motivated eg target a race
  • Join a running club so you’re not training alone
  • Take part in some cross country races
  • Get your five-a-day of fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system or consider taking a daily vitamin supplement
  • Wash your hand regularly to avoid cold and flu germs